New process will give patients more say on their emergency care and treatment

Published on Sep 16, 2020

A new process is being introduced to give residents across Northern Lincolnshire more say about what happens to them if they need emergency care or treatment.

ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) is a nationally developed process led by the Resuscitation Council (UK). ReSPECT creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency, where they may be unable to make or express choices.

It is designed to allow patients greater influence on what happens to them, and that their wishes are carried out appropriately, should they ever find themselves in an emergency situation where they are not able to express their wants and/or needs.

ReSPECT can record preferences and recommendations for emergency situations, whatever stage of life the patient is at, and should not be limited just to those who are approaching end of life. In particular it should be an important consideration for those with significant frailty or chronic progressive long term conditions.

The nationally recognised process will start being rolled out across Northern Lincolnshire’s health and care organisations this September.

Dr Kate Wood, Medical Director and Consultant in Anaesthesia for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) said: “ReSPECT gives patients more control over their care, and reassures them that their views are being taken into account when decisions are made about their treatment.”

“In an emergency situation, staff must make rapid decisions about the care and treatment of an individual and there may not be time to have detailed discussions in a planned or sensitive way. It’s incredibly important to have these conversations early with patients to record their preferences for emergency situations. This ensures staff know how the patient wants to be treated, if at that point they are unable to make their wishes known, so their decisions can be honoured.”

Dr Yousef Adcock, Palliative Medicine Consultant for NLaG said: “Crucially, ReSPECT encourages wider open discussion about treatments that should be considered, as well as those that are not wanted or would not work, and should lead to agreed recommendations being made between the patient and healthcare professionals.”

Dr Rumman Afsar, General Practitioner for The Birches Medical Practice, and North Lincolnshire CCG’s Clinical Lead for End of Life Care said: “This process is a significant change of emphasis and a step forward from making ‘do not resuscitate’ decisions in isolation. Decisions will now be made based on the wider context of a discussion about potential treatment options.”

Dr Ekta Elston, General Practitioner for Roxton Practice, and Medical Director for North East Lincolnshire CCG said: “ReSPECT gives health professionals, patients and families the ability to have those important conversations that can make a vital difference to how a patient is treated and understood in emergency situations. They can be difficult conversations, ReSPECT helps it happen in a supportive sensitive way to ensure the best and most appropriate care and support is given to patients and their families when they need it the most.”

To find out more about ReSPECT visit www.resus.org.uk/respect or speak to a member of staff.

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